Friday, March 1, 2024

Pace, bounce too much for Pride


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Preparing a grassy Kensington Oval pitch with pace and bounce backfired as champions Guyana Jaguars not only gave Barbados Pride a dose of their own medicine, but also exposed their ineptitude against short-pitched bowling, yesterday.

Rookie pacer Romario Shepherd rocked Barbados Pride’s batting with a career-best four-wicket haul as the former kings of regional first-class cricket, with six players having Test experience, batted like pawns.

The 23-year-old Shepherd, the fastest of the Jaguars’ four seamers, left Barbados Pride tottering on 142 for seven off 45.3 overs, replying to the visitors’ first innings total of 297 in 101.5 overs on the second day of the ninth and penultimate round match in the Regional 4-Day Cricket Championship.

His fantastic figures of four wickets for 27 from ten overs were richly deserved for a whole-hearted effort as he kept charging in from the Malcolm Marshall End, using the bouncer to unsettle the timid Barbadian batsmen as none of them got past 25 runs.  

Barbados Pride’s embarrassing batting display, after Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite was run out for 13, overshadowed a five-wicket haul on his first-class debut by teenage fast bowler Chemar Holder.

The 19-year-old former St Leonard’s schoolboy claimed the last three wickets after he was belatedly introduced with the Jaguars on 251 for seven, two hours into the day’s play, to end with five for 57 off 17.5 overs. Holder had Sherfane Rutherford and lastman Veerasammy Permaul caught down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Dowrich and bowled Raymon Reifer off the inside edge.

Rutherford struck seven fours in a breezy 32 off 30 balls while Reifer, who was ninth out, batted doggedly for 33 off 113 balls in 161 minutes.

Test pacer Kemar Roach, who ended with three for 31 off 16.4 overs, had to leave the field, shortly after removing the durable and prolific former West Indies’ Test batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who had taken a liking to left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican for 30, with the second new ball.

The 43-year-old Chanderpaul edged a lifting delivery that swung away from the bat, to Dowrich, while seamer Miguel Cummins had all-rounder Keemo Paul taken low down at second slip by Carter for a “duck” before Holder wrapped up the innings as the Jaguars added 113 precious more runs after resuming from 184 for five overnight.

It was then the turn of the strongly-built Shepherd, in only his ninth first-class match to impress after he was the fourth bowler used by Jaguars captain Leon Johnson, who wisely didn’t give his experienced left-arm spinner Permaul a single over.

The Wanderers’ pair of Brathwaite and Shayne Moseley shared an opening stand of 41 before both fell in consecutive overs. Attempting a second run, Brathwaite got no response from Moseley and was beaten by Permaul’s throw to the non-striker’s end.

Moseley departed in the next over for 24, fending a bouncer from Shepherd to Chandrapaul Hemraj in the gully as Barbados went to tea at 66 for two.

On resumption, Jonathan Carter fell in disappointing fashion for 21, edging a loose drive at a delivery angled across him from seamer Paul to wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble.

Shepherd then fired out Test duo Roston Chase and Dowrich with consecutive balls before adding the scalp of Pride’s captain Shamarh Brooks for 25.

Chase, who faced 23 balls for his solitary run, edged an innocuous delivery down the leg-side, to be caught by Bramble while Dowrich was again bounced out for a first-ball “duck” as Shepherd went around the wicket and forced him to fend off a lifting delivery to short-leg.

He used a similar ploy to Brooks, who was left in an embarrassing position as he was unable to shield his bat from another short delivery, which kissed its “shoulder” before landing in Hemraj’s hands in the slips.      

All-rounder Justin Greaves hit three attractive fours in moving to 16 before he drove a slower ball from Rutherford straight to the cover fielder.

Roach (15 not out) and Warrican (13 not out) then counter-attacked in gathering 28 runs in an unbrokeneighth-wicket stand before rain gave them a respite at 5:15 p.m. (EZS)


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